Paul Bonhomme scores steep ski descent down Punta Patrì in Gran Paradiso massif
French mountain guide Paul Bonhomme has skied Linea senza frontiere, a new steep ski descent down the south face of Punta Patrì in the Gran Paradiso massif. Bonhomme, who ascended the same line he later skied, reports.
On Monday 13th of January 2020 I was at home trying to think of where to ski despite poor conditions after three weeks without any snowfall. It’s then that I saw a picture taken by Laurent Dupré of the south face of Punta Patri in the Gran Paradiso massif.
As per usual I decided to go there on Thursday the 16th of January just to see if this line could perhaps be skied. I woke up at 3 am on the 16th and headed towards Cogne valley, and then set off from the Lillaz car park at at 6 for the circa 9km approach.
At 8.30 I reached the base of of the main couloir that descends down the south ridge, and three hours later I was in the summit, after having beaten a trail past some non-consistent (but very safe) snow. I had taken a 60 meter rope and some Friends just in case, but I didn’t have to use them.
The first part of the descent was steep and powdery, a weaving line past some hidden rocks that I’d noticed during the ascent (around 50-55°, 100m). Then I entered the suspended couloir, very beautiful and with some sections that provided some fine skiing (around 45-50°, 300m). The most technical but also the most beautiful section was connecting this couloir to the next, down a rapid succession of very steep turns through good powder (55°). After a last suspended slope and a long traverse I finally reached the main couloir again. Just before 13:00 I was back at the car.
I called the descent Linea senza frontiere because I believe there are still lots of lines to open and also because of the complexity of this route.
by Paul Bonhomme
Linea senza frontiere
Punta Patri south face, Gran Paradiso massif
Paul Bonhomme 16/019/2020
Circa 700m long, 5.4/E4, average 50°, some 55° sections, 3m max 60°
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